Escape to the south — road cycling in Gran Canaria

Road Cycling Collection by
komoot

Rugged cliffs, beautiful sandy beaches, fertile valleys and bizarre rock formations. Tough climbs, endless descents and views that will make you cry for joy. Welcome to Gran Canaria, an area that's so full of variety, it's hard to believe it's an island. And thanks to smooth roads and a perfect climate, you can comfortably explore it on your road bike — 365 days a year.

Whether you're looking for a sporty cycling holiday or want to plan an intensive training camp, Gran Canaria is one of the best places you could go. It doesn't matter when you plan it; here, the weather always good—and while it's still pleasantly mild in winter, spring or autumn are arguably the best times to go.

One of the best representatives of the island's variety is its microclimate zones, of which there are an unbelievable 14. The differences are actually fairly pronounced—just don't expect to encounter rain. You won't find much of that here, whatever microclimate you ride through. In the south, you'll find mostly dry and sunny weather, whereas it tends to be fairly cloudy in the north, something the locals refer to as "donkey belly".

A cycling trip on Gran Canaria rarely comprises relaxing day rides. Because of its topography, you're going to spend most of your time fighting uphill climbs. The island itself actually resembles a cone, with Pico de Las Nieves rising out of the sea to over 6,000 feet (1,950 meters). Therefore, you'll start pedaling uphill as soon as you leave the coastline. And while this is not going to be easy, the fantastic views and breathtaking downhill runs will make it more than worthwhile.

For your starting point, we recommend Maspalomas—the touristic epicenter of the island. Here, you'll find accommodation options to suit every budget, restaurants to suit every taste and everything you'll need to start your cycling holiday, from bike rental shops to stores for spare parts.

To help you experience the best of this island, we've planned a collection of rides as diverse as Gran Canaria itself. Below, you'll find everything from short warm-up rides to tough mountain challenges, as well as a complete tour around the island.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:47
    35.2 mi
    12.6 mph
    2,775 ft
    2,875 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    Going flat on Gran Canaria is almost impossible. This short drive along the south coast is pretty much the flattest option possible here. It is best suited to acclimatize or actively support regeneration.Today you will not get to know idyllic mountain villages or cross beautiful valleys. It is as it is: the south of Gran Canaria is the tourist center of the island and so you drive past hotel complexes instead of mountain huts and artificial sandy beaches instead of natural rocky coves. But let's be honest - there are enough things here that you can enjoy to the fullest. The sun is shining on you, it is warm and no matter where you look, it always presents you a wacky view of the rugged cliffs or the azure Atlantic Ocean.Enjoy it, get to know the south coast, relax on the beach, treat yourself to a few local delicacies and rejoice like a snow king, that you may have just escaped from this white stuff in your homeland.

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  • Difficult
    06:02
    63.0 mi
    10.5 mph
    8,225 ft
    8,250 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    The 1949 meter high Pico de las Nieves is the highest point of Gran Canaria. There must be a nice pass up there, right? Of course there is that. In fact, even several roads lead up to the island's central peak, which incidentally is the tip of an extinct volcano - including spectacular scenery.Today's summit trip is spread over about 45 kilometers and represents the lighter of two variants from Maspalomas. At the end you are still at 1949 meters altitude - your legs tell you what you have done. But we promise you that you will be rewarded almost permanently, even during the driveway. The scenery is breathtaking, the view gets better after each turn and the weather is likely to be a bomb.Oh and there is something else: the return trip! What you went up before is downhill now. An insane descent of around 35 kilometers, surrounded by the landscape of the "Caldera de los Marteles", one of the natural treasures of the island, will spit you out with open mouth in Agüimes, where you can treat yourself to at least one coffee as the crowning glory.

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  • Intermediate
    01:42
    20.4 mi
    12.0 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Whether as a warm-up, good-bye or short evening round - this tour is perfect if you want to take it easy. Nevertheless, you get everything offered, which makes a Gran Canaria bike tour. The typical height profile, the great view and the final descent down to the beach are not missing today. Only everything is a bit shorter - except for the beach stay.Apropos: This tour ends at the beach of Maspalomas directly at one of the most popular ice cream parlors. So buy yourself a few homemade balls and look for a cool shadow under a palm tree.

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  • Difficult
    11:03
    88.0 mi
    8.0 mph
    12,425 ft
    12,450 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Gran Canaria is beautiful. Gran Canaria is also very demanding. That's exactly what you'll test today. This tour is just right for you, if you want to go to your limits again. Today you will climb some Gran Canaria classics and in this way you will have a whopping 3790 meters in altitude.Partly the roads are right, really steep. But the landscape is also right, really nice. However, we do not promise you that the beauty of nature will keep you happy at all times. A stretch of road is not called "Valley of Tears" for nothing. But in the end it is like always: you reach the summit proudly and you order your rewarding café with a grin over your ears. By the way, in the bar Ayacata, which already enjoys great popularity among racing cyclists. Is also the only bar up here.After that, enjoy it again. Nearly 40 kilometers downhill to the beach of Maspalomas. Can a tour end better?Please reckon that the weather can be a bit "moody". The further you go north, the greater the danger that it will be very uncomfortable. On the one hand, the strong wind can also mean rain, which makes the narrow mountain roads a slippery affair. Should it be very windy at Aldea, I'd rather turn around. In the south (almost) always the sun is shining.

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  • Difficult
    04:48
    54.9 mi
    11.5 mph
    5,500 ft
    5,575 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    This tour packs the best of southern Gran Canaria into a compact round. You will climb a few mountains, drive through idyllic villages and towns, and roll along the coast back to the beach in Maspalomas. Today, it's not about breaking records or finding your own boundaries. Today it's high on "half height" - from San Bartholomä you still have a great view. The winding downhill to Agüimes will make you really fun, down there you can pick up your reward on the terrace of an idyllic café.Today's tour seeks to reconcile exertion and enjoyment. That's why we recommend a very special highlight for the afternoon: a helicopter flight over the island. At the small airport near Playa del Inglés you can book such sightseeing flights. And we promise you unique, breathtaking views of the island that you will not forget. If that's too much of a good thing for you, you can treat yourself to a delicious ice cream on the beach of Maspalomas, sit down in the sand and enjoy the sun.

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  • Difficult
    07:45
    77.9 mi
    10.1 mph
    11,475 ft
    11,650 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to carry your bike.

    You can get to know the Pico de las Nieves from its easier south driveway or beat it on the hard way. Today, the direct drive from Ingenio is on the program.About 1700 vertical meters on 25 kilometers - you know what that means. The legs will burn but the endorphins will swell. At the top you will feel a sense of happiness that is enhanced by the intoxicating view. And from the anticipation of the upcoming descent back to Maspalomas, where you nearly almost 2,000 vertical meters destroy without interruption. Even if the mountain is going to make you sweat, remember that it can be cool on the top - do not forget windstopper.If you want to make the return journey a bit more relaxing, why not treat yourself to a break in San Bartolomé, where plenty of cafes and bars have tasty Spanish snacks for you? And look forward to the end of the tour. You land directly on the beach, where you can enjoy the sunset with optimal timing. We have put the end of the tour at a rustic beach restaurant where you can replenish your energy supply with local specialties.

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  • Difficult
    12:33
    126 mi
    10.1 mph
    14,525 ft
    14,525 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to carry your bike.

    Gran Canaria is sometimes referred to as a miniature continent because of its diversity. From this point of view, this round could also be called a Transcontinental Tour. Because today it's about the island. And that's a piece of work 208 kilometers long. But also a tour full of impressive landscapes, beautiful dune beaches, bizarre lava fields, idyllic villages and bustle and international flair in the north-east towards the capital Las Palmas.Let's go in bright sunshine in the tourist center of the island, in Maspalomas. You start in the east parallel to the highway "CG-1" - here it is much busier and more busy than in the rest of the island. After 50 kilometers you have already left the airport of Gran Canaria on the right and the largest city of the East, Telde, happened. Next, enjoy the beautiful view of the capital Las Palmas and the coast. It is quite possible that it is cloudy, while in the south the sun is shining - a well-known phenomenon in Gran Canaria.Now the journey is calmer. After leaving the tourist south and bustling north-east, quiet moments await you in the north of the island. Dreamy places, a lush vegetation almost no tourists - they prefer romping in the sun-drenched south of the island. Here in the north, life is still very original. Here you will meet locals rather than travelers and get to know a piece of real Gran Canaria. Instead of tourist tinnef, you can buy local produce by the roadside, such as fresh sardines that were still in the ocean in the morning.The highlight of the island tour is undoubtedly the west coast of Gran Canaria. The change from rugged cliffs and green valleys is just epic. Along the coast, it's back to the south. Here are unfortunately some road sections blocked, so you have to do a little detour into the mountainous interior of the island again. Now it's time to bite again. But there are some great runs and breathtaking views in beautiful valleys to the coast of the island. You can fully enjoy the last 30 kilometers and roll back relaxed to Maspalomas.This tour definitely has it, not only because it is very long. Prepare yourself well by starting rested, having enough food and prepared for a change in the weather. By the way, you can also simply drive the tour in the opposite direction and do the strenuous part through the mountains while you're still fresh. However, you leave the highlight, the attractive west coast, then relatively early behind you and complete the tour with the rather unspectacular journey along the east coast.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    466 mi
  • Duration
    46:39 h
  • Elevation
    56,775 ft

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